The Quotable Pratchett: Wintersmith

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away

With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, I embarked on an epic re-reading of all 41 official Discworld novels, with the goal of finishing by 31 December, 2016.

Famous for its wit and wisdom, the series offers countless quotable quotes on a variety of subjects. The quotes I share should not be considered the whole of Sir Terry’s excellent prose; indeed, they are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About Wintersmith

wintersmith-coverThis is the 35th Discworld novel and the 3rd in the Tiffany Aching series.

Watch your step!

If only Tiffany Aching had listened to this advice, she wouldn’t have found herself in her current predicament. But, she didn’t, and now she’s attracted the attention of the Wintersmith, Lord of Winter. Now, the elemental deity is going all out to impress Tiffany . . . his romantic gestures (or slightly jealous ex) don’t kill her first.

4 stars

The Goodreads Blurb:

Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to winter — she does what no one has ever done before and leaps into the dance. Into the oldest story there ever is. And draws the attention of the Wintersmith himself.

As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions? Even with the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Nac Mac Feegle — the fightin’, thievin’ pictsies who are prepared to lay down their lives for their “big wee hag.”


To the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

The Librarian as he appears in The Discworld Companion, illustrated by Paul Kidby

But as Granny Aching used to say, when the gods made sheep, the must’ve left their brains in their other coat.

The future is always a bit wobbly. Any little thing, like the fall of a snowflake or the dropping of the wrong kind of spoon, can send it spinning off along a new path. Or perhaps not.

Need is not the same as like.

But when it came to odd, Miss Treason didn’t just take the cake, but a packet of biscuits too, with sprinkle on the top, and also a candle.

Yes . . . perhaps Miss Treason didn’t just take the cake, a packet of biscuits with sprinkles on the top, and a candle, but also the trifle, the sandwiches, and a man who made amusing balloon animals afterward.

Tiffany was an excellent cheesemaker and it did keep them moist, but Tiffany distrusted black cheeses. They always looked as though they were plotting something.

No one likes an unexpected Morris dancer.

Ach, people’re always tellin’ us not tae do things, said Rob Anybody. That’s how we ken what’s the most interestin’ things tae do!

To Feegles, Explaining was a dark art. It was just so hard.

Witches would prefer to cut enemies dead with a look. There was no sense in killing your enemy. How would she know you’d won?

It says something about witches that an old friend and an old enemy could quite often be the same person.

They say that there can never be two snowflakes that are exactly alike, but has anyone checked lately?

The start and finish of things was always dangerous, lives most of all.

We make happy endings, child, day to day.


She’ll have her nose so far in the air, her feet won’t touch the ground.

Change the story, even if you don’t mean to, and the story changes you

If she was no better than she should be, then she was just as good as she ought to be.

Some of the books they loaned were so old that the printing had been worn gray by the pressure of people’s eyeballs reading it.

Your own brains ought to have the decency to be on your own side!

Sooner or later, every curse is a prayer.

People said that you should always count up to ten before losing your temper. But if it was Annagramma you were dealing with, you had to know some bigger numbers, like perhaps a million.

I wouldna argue wi’ a cheese.

A metaphor is a kind o’ lie to help people understand what’s true.

If you wanted to walk around with your head in the air, then you needed to have both feet on the ground.


. . .

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